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Abstract

The Laguna Lake Region is one of the places in the Philippines that are most vulnerable to natural disasters because of their location and ecological condition. Among the natural calamities that regularly hit the country, one of the most frequent and disastrous is flooding. The most affected are the poor who are faced with the double risk of being food insecure and living in conditions that are very vulnerable to natural hazards. The most negative and long-term effect of flooding is reduction in food security because flooding erodes the asset base of households that in turn results in the adoption of negative adaptation strategies. The impact of flooding on household food security however depends on disaster resilience - the capacity of households to absorb the adverse consequences. But what constitutes resiliency? What factors affect resiliency? A case study was made in the Sta. Rosa-Silang Subwatershed with the intention of developing a resiliency index that would indicate the capacity of households to absorb the negative consequences of flood disasters. Results show that resilience, which is multidimensional, is determined by demographic and socioeconomic conditions, social capital, amount of damages or losses, social safety nets, and quality of local governance. Specifically, the results show that household disaster resiliency is negatively related to the level of exposure to natural hazards and positively related to the economic capability of households and the community standard of living. In addition, the study demonstrates that enhancing household resiliency could be an important component of any strategy to address food insecurity due to natural hazards. Thus, in disaster-prone areas, measures to enhance household disaster resilience should be an integral part of food security strategies and policies. The role of the resilience index becomes crucial to the evaluation of the conditions of a target population.

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